Haddenham ‘Say No to Mereham’ Group Update

Date: 17th September 2007 04

Since its establishment the Haddenham ‘Say No to Mereham’ Group has been active in supporting opposition to the planned development of 5,500 houses (long term plan up to 7,500 houses) at the Mereham site between Wilburton and Stretham on the A10. The following actions are being taken and we would like to encourage as many people as possible to support us. The Developers, Australian company Multiplex Stannifer, have huge resources available to them to fight for planning to be granted - all we have are our voices and (very limited) time, plus whatever donations we can obtain from the local community.


We are manning a petition stand on Ely Market on the next two Saturdays: 22nd and 29th September. If you are able to volunteer to help on the stand and in attracting the attention of passers-by please contact Gina Keene who is arranging the rota. We need a laminated map showing Ely and Mereham – can anyone supply this?

Paper copies of the ‘Say No to Mereham’ petition have been circulated to shops and other businesses in Haddenham, Wilburton, Stretham, Little Downham, Cottenham, Earith, Witchford and other surrounding villages. We will be collecting completed pages over the coming week in order to do a count of signatures.

The petition on the ‘10 Downing Street’ website is steadily attracting signatures. The address for this is: or it can be accessed from the first page of the Haddenham website:

Haddenham Public Exhibition:

A meeting has been arranged to coincide with the unveiling of the results of the resident’s survey on the local Parish Plan. This exhibition is being organised because the previous Haddenham public meeting (held on Monday 10th September) was completely over-subscribed. Over 130 people were counted in, packing the available space in the Arkenstall Centre, and it is estimated that a further 100 were standing outside the room or were turned away.

The exhibition will be held at The Arkenstall Centre on Saturday 22nd September between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served and visitors will be able to see:

We need a second laminated map for this. Can anyone help?


Ann Biggs has very kindly donated a logo for the campaign:

Please use as you see fit. Different messages can be inserted

inside the ring of cars (you just need to “ungroup” the

image and the text box and type in the alternative text).

It can also be scaled larger or smaller.


Template letters to be sent to Jim Paice MP and Hazel Blears MP will be drafted and distributed to the circulation list in the coming week. As MPs are not obliged to respond to letters from people living outside their constituencies the one to Hazel Blears will be in her capacity as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

We also need people to write to the Letters Page of the local press about how they feel Mereham will impact their own lives e.g. traffic problems / damage to houses from construction lorries / noise / loss of amenities etc. We need to obtain as much coverage as the Roswell Pits campaign.

Please also write to Multiplex’s Agents to ask why you had not been “consulted” by Multiplex about their proposals. Multiplex are claiming they undertook “extensive local consultation”. The Agents are:

The Barton Willmore Planning Partnership

1 High Street, Chesterton, Cambridgeshire CB4 1WB


A further supply of signs with some different slogans is available. All residents of Haddenham are being encouraged to download and display the window sign from or put up one of the campaign placard signs in their garden or other open space.

In Haddenham these can be obtained from Julie Parr - 01353 741380.

In Wilburton these can be obtained from Maureen Harrington 01353-741175

This last weekend, a concerted effort has been made to erect A2 waterproof signs in Haddenham, Witchford, Wilburton and along the A10.

Public Meeting:

Any East Cambridgeshire residents are being encouraged to register to speak at the Public Enquiry in the Arkenstall Centre on 9th October. You may pre-register with the appointed meeting programmes co-ordinator - at:

Lynette Duncan

Programme Officer ~ Mereham PI

Persona Associates

West Point, Springfield Road, Horsham, W. Sussex RH12 2PD


Telephone: 01403 217799 & Mobile: 07855 649904

PLEASE email or write to Lynette Duncan NOW. We have learned from the Pre-Inquiry meeting held by Persona Associates at ECDC on Monday 17th September that priority allocation of speaker slots will be given at the enquiry to people that have pre-registered.

New Planning Application

Stannifer Developments Ltd have given formal notice of appeal on the two key issues that will be under discussion at the Public Enquiry. These notices have been published in the local papers.

Application APP/W0530/A/06/2014216/NWF relates to the application refused by South Cambridgeshire District Council to carry out highway works on the A10.

Application APP/V0510/A/06/2014221/NWF relates to the application refused by East Cambridgeshire District Council to carry out the Mereham Development.

The formal notices include notification of changes to the original plans.

Persons wishing to make representations about these proposals should make them before September 28th to the Secretary of State at the Planning Inspectorate, Room 4/04, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN.

There is a template letter available on the Haddenham and WAGONS websites objecting to these proposals. It will also be distributed as a leaflet inserted in The Ely Standard next week. PLEASE ensure you sign and post a copy well before the 28th September deadline and that you encourage all your contacts to do the same.


There is a public meeting in Wilburton Village Hall on 28th September at 7.30 p.m.

Did you Know Number 4?:

We are analysing the Mereham proposal in its entirety with the objective of exposing the planning gobble-de-gook it includes. We will be regularly keeping you amused with ‘facts’ from the application in a ‘did you know?’ format. The fourth is printed below.

Did You Know No. 4

East Cambridgeshire County Council considers that:

"Uncontrolled or unsympathetic development could harm local landscape character if it occurs in a large enough scale, or repeatedly through a particular area" and that their policy solution is to "protect and enhance the distinctiveness of local landscape character."

According to Multiplex Stannifer their plans for Mereham meet this requirement because:

The local landscape both in terms of landform and vegetation has influenced the design of the settlement. The layout of development will protect the character of the neighbouring villages and the landscaping proposed will protect and enhance landscape character.

In other words, Multiplex Stannifer’s high flying architects and designers have seen all the three and four storey dwellings in Wilburton and Stretham and in the fields along the A1123 - probably after a hard night in the King’s Head - and designed their blot on the landscape accordingly.